A lively opening 15 minutes saw the US nearly open the scoring from a Wales own goal and a Josh Sargent header seconds apart, while both Sergino Dest and Weston McKennie were handed yellow cards for hard fouls.
Gregg Berhalter’s side continued to look the more dangerous of the two and opened the scoring late in the first half when Weah cleverly finished off his chance from a quick-hitting counter-attack after being played in behind the defense by Christian Pulisic.
Wales looked much better as play resumed in the second half and forced the US to defend for long spells, and Matt Turner came up big in the 64th minute to tip a powerful Ben Davies header over the bar.
With the US headed for a massive win to begin the World Cup, Bale drew a foul Walker Zimmerman in the penalty area and delivered an unstoppable spot kick to beat Turner to level the game for good despite 10 minutes of second-half stoppage time.
The US finished with four yellow cards, the team’s most in a World Cup match since drawing five against Germany in 2002, while Bale was cautioned twice in the match.